By Conor Creamer
Last Updated: 21/07/17 11:21am
Christian Benteke insists he is “very happy” at Crystal Palace despite speculation linking him with a summer move away from Selhurst Park.
The 26-year old, who scored 15 goals in 36 Premier League appearances last season, has been linked with a switch to Everton in recent weeks.
W Brom vs C Palace
July 22, 2017, 10:30am
According to Sky sources, the Merseysiders are targeting the striker as they seek a replacement for Romelu Lukaku who signed for Manchester United on July 10.
However, the Belgian international says he is determined to prolong his career with Crystal Palace under new manager Frank de Boer.
“I’m very happy,” he said. “I want to be part of the project of the manager and I’m looking forward for this new season.
“I want to perform and to score more goals and to really help the team to reach where they want to be.
“Since we came back for pre-season I didn’t really want to talk, but I want to be here.
“There’s the World Cup and that’s an important aspect of being with the club and you have to perform to be part of that group.”
With the World Cup approaching in Russia next year, manager Frank de Boer understands the need for his players to perform to earn an international place, a factor he hopes will see Benteke at his best during the 2017-18 Premier League campaign.
“Sometimes it’s a good thing for the World Cup coming for a manager, and I think it’s the same for Yohan Cabaye,” said de Boer.
“Sometimes you have to take advantage as a manager and for me I hope he can play every game and score all of the goals he wants to score and that’s a benefit for the club, the manager and for Christian himself.”
Crystal Palace continue their pre-season preparations when they meet West Brom in the Asia Trophy third place play-off in Hong Kong at 11am on Saturday morning, live on Sky Sports Premier League.